Banks card security procedures stymie card holder

Pondering the complications of online bank security changes

Both my bank and my credit card company have new security measures for their clients. While I applaud this step, it thumbs down for their procedures to do so. Why? Because they are making it difficult for the avtual card holder to do the changes. I thought these security measures were for our benefit, but if we can’t access our accounts, something is wrong.

Take Scotiabank’s new debit cards. Traditionally, you kept the same debit card, same number for ages (unless the card was stolen, lost, or mangled). I have had the last two happen to my debit card over the years. No problem getting a new card and get it working – including for my online account. And that’s where the problems are now happening. Here’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Last Friday a new card arrived in the mail. No warning ahead of time from Scotiabank – by regular mail or in an online notification at my account. Remember, old debit cards have no expiry date so unlike credit cards you can’t check to see when the new card is expected to arrive. The new cards do have an expiry date, which will help somewhat for the future. But for now I decided yesterday afternoon to go to my bank in person and get all the changes made.

No problem with changing my card number for in-person banking. But the teller couldn’t change my online account because she didn’t have my password. I didn’t either – on me. I don’t carry my passwords around with me. She explained how I could to change it online. I wasn’t happy about the situation and said that I would have problems.

And boy did I – worse than anticipated. I wasted the rest of the afternoon with this. Starting with my laptop I tried to change the card number in my account but each time I tried to log in it kept going back to the old number and flashing ERROR # etc. at the top. I even changed my password. Didn’t work. So I called Scotiabank customer service and got a very patient helpful rep.

First she tried to help me fix it on the laptop. Didn’t work. Then we tried my desktop computer. At first it kept doing the same return to the old card number and wouldn’t let me in. Finally she had me click on something else and got me to the security questions which are necessary for this change. (That didn’t happen on the laptop). Finally we got in. Because computers are linked when I went to my laptop, I got in to my account immediately.

I thanked her profusely for her patience and help and got the Scotiabank phone no. to put in a complaint. I was very clear that the complaint was not against her or the teller but against the card being changed with a changed number  at all without any notice and the setup up for changing it on line (Instructions not in the cover letter with the card from Scotiabank). Again I got a sympathetic bank rep (so far – we’ll see what the result of my complaint brings). Again I was clear that my complaint was not against the teller or the customer service rep. – if anybody, it would be the assholes (pardon my language – I could use stronger language) who initiated this change and decided on how it would be done.

As for the credit card change – that is another bank and so far all I have done is go online to my account. After I enter the password I get this box about all the new security measures and the procedures for doing so. There are points in it to click on for more info. I did this. But I couldn’t see all the information because you couldn’t scroll down the pdf.

So I phoned to get some help. Got through to someone called Sarah right away and complained about the faulty design. She agreed and put me on hold and never came back. I was on hold for over 15 minutes before hanging up. Definitely I will be putting in a complaint about Sarah – if I can get through. I’m still mulling over whether to cancel my card and get another one from another bank….but why should I have to do this?

What do you think of this? Is security getting too complicated for the card holders to get around? Or am I just a luddite?



Only Child Writes






Filed under Bank service, Bank service complaints, Banking, Consumer action

2 responses to “Banks card security procedures stymie card holder

  1. Rio

    I think Scotia bank is rubbish but probably they are all the same for the most part.
    But remember when banking was a long and drawn out business? Cheques were sometimes held for weeks and had limited hours with long line-ups, not to mention really rude clerks?
    I remember my ex emptying my account and the teller refusing to cash a cheque from my mother! I cried in public, right there in the bank. When I had a small business coins had to be rolled: messy, heavy and time consuming and I had to go to the actual bank to deposit it everyday. Banking is much easier and safer now despite the hiccups.

  2. Yes, I remember when banking was a long drawn out business. Scotiabank today – my branch at least – has limited hours – they shortened the Thursday hours a few years after I moved back to Toronto. My branch isn’t open Saturdays either. But tellers are polite nowadays. I’ve never cried in the bank but I have become angry and sarcastic – once at the manager’s screwup which resulted in a messy delay and complication to change my safety box, I yelled at him in front of everybody. Then when I received the survey about the service I slammed him in that and said he should be fired. Looks like someone higher up gave him hell and told him to smarten up because next time I was in there he tried to be nice to me. Didn’t work. No, I didn’t yell at him, but I try to avoid him. He is a stupid jerk and should never have been made bank manager. Contrast this with the previous branch manager, a woman, who apologized and made fast tracks to correct a teller error – the teller had deposited my property tax payment for one month in the city utility account instead of the property tax account. I didn’t know until I got a letter from the city about not paying the property taxes and they were adding interest. This manager wrote a letter to the property tax department saying it was a bank error and that I have always paid my property taxes myself. The bank transferred the payment to the correct city account and absorbed all costs to my account.
    The current jerk manager probably wouldn’t know how to do this.

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